Arsenal and Granit Xhaka bow out in style with easy win over Wolves
A day to celebrate reinvention and regeneration found the perfect way to mark those qualities. Arsenal are unrecognisable from the club that spent half a decade toiling beneath the elite and Granit Xhaka, in his final game for them, supplied a poetic reminder of his own redemption arc. Parallels can be drawn between the recovery of Xhakas credibility under Mikel Arteta and that of his flourishing team; here all parties played the hits and, as sign-offs go, it could hardly have been more appropriate.
Xhakas impending move to Bayer Leverkusen is an open secret but this was a clear, heartfelt farewell message played out in public. When he opened the scoring after 11 minutes it felt like a pleasant bow with which to wrap up; a second goal straight afterwards felt too good to be true and anyone requiring more should have been sated shortly after the half-hour. Presented with a glorious chance to complete his hat-trick, Xhaka completely fluffed a half-volley in front of goal. Once upon a time, that brand of mishap would have met boos: this time there were chuckles from an audience who have learned to accept their midfielder, warts and all.